Philadelphia Will Give Pope Francis a Free Hoagie of His Choosing

By Mike Pomranz |

Tomorrow afternoon at 4 p.m., Pope Francis will arrive in Washington, DC for the first stop on his first visit to the U.S. The Pope has plenty of events lined up during his six-day, three-city trip along the Northeast Corridor. After DC, he heads up to New York City before dropping back down to end his travels in Philadelphia—a visit his holiness must be highly anticipating now that the city’s mayor has offered him a free Wawa hoagie. Any one of his choosing, of course!

For those unfamiliar with the greater Philadelphia area, Wawa is a regional convenience store chain with a passionate cult following thanks to its branded products that, unlike most convenience stores’ in-house items, you actually want to eat. The hoagies in particular earn plenty of local praise, so Mayor Michael Nutter probably didn’t consider it odd when, at the recent opening of a new Center City Wawa location, he proclaimed that the store anticipated serving Pope Francis a sandwich. “I don't know what he likes,” the Philadelphia Inquirer quoted their mayor as saying, “but he can have anything he wants.”

Far be it from me to tell the Pope how to live his life, but as a former Philadelphian, here’s my recommendation: Definitely go with an Italian hoagie; add provolone, lettuce, tomato, onion, a little bit of oil, a little bit of vinegar, maybe some oregano if you’re feeling spicy and then that’s it. Simple is the way to go. And yes, I know they serve cheesesteaks, but don’t grab one here. As much as I love Wawa, the pontiff deserves better.

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